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Dental Hygiene Program

Oulton-College- Dental Hygiene Website Bannner

“Life is short – smile while you still have teeth!” Unknown

You are:

  • Detail-oriented
  • Caring
  • A lifelong learner
  • Friendly and patient

The field of dental care is constantly growing and advancing, and with that growth has come a need for well-trained dental hygienists. With new developments in technology and new techniques, many of the procedures common in today’s dental offices didn’t even exist 20 years ago!

Oulton Dental Hygiene Program was developed with this level of innovation in mind, maintaining the highest standards and we are proud to be one of only two schools in Atlantic Canada accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada. Our curriculum is based on national and provincial standards and 100% of our students were successful on last year’s National Examination.

We build your knowledge in the classroom, but the real learning happens in our state of the art dental clinic. With the expertise of our team at your fingertips, we go beyond foundational skills to prepare you for success. Over 20 weeks spent in a combination of classroom, clinic, and practicum, you forge the relationships and connections needed to land your dream job, all while developing your confidence, skill set, and experience. At the end of the program, our students have the opportunity to write the National Examination, the last step in becoming a licensed Dental Hygienist.

Our Dental Hygiene program provides hands-on practical experience and training in:

  • Classroom and Clinical Practices
  • Treatments: including oral hygiene, cancer screening, scaling and root debridement, fluoride application, pit and fissure sealants, administration of local anesthesia and x-rays.
  • Client Assessment and Care Planning: providing individualized treatment to promote clients’ oral and overall health.
  • Community Experience: our clinic serves over 2,500 clients annually.

Our training gives you practiced skills and the ability to build strong client relationships right away. You will be able to quickly step in and work in any clinical setting.

  • Dental Clinics
  • Community Health Organizations
  • Long-term Care Facilities

This 2-year (20 months) program ends with the writing of the National Examination. (at student’s own cost). Success on this exam makes you a licensable Dental Hygienist.

Term: September – June (Note: This is a two year program)

Practicum: In-clinic practicum

You Will Learn:

  • Current Technical and Clinical Technologies
  • Client Communications Skills 
  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Pathology
  • Periodontics
  • Radiography
  • Community
  • Histology
  • Oral Anatomy
  • Research/Biostats
  • Dental Health
  • Pharmacology
  • Pain Management/Local Anesthesia
  • Nutrition

Admissions Requirements:

  • Grade 12 Diploma, Adult Diploma or GED
  • A 3-credit university-level Biology course with a minimum “C” grade or equivalent with a minimum 65% average
  • 3-credits in any other university-level course from a different subject area with a minimum “C” grade or equivalent with a minimum 65% average
  • 3-credit university-level English course with a minimum “C” grade or equivalent with a minimum 65% average
  • Meeting with an Admissions Advisor
  • Aptitude Test
  • Dental Faculty Interview
  • Acceptance by the Admissions Committee
  • Completion of the Post-Admissions Package
  • Geographical quotas may apply.

Unless they have completed a minimum of three years of study at a school where English is the language of instruction, international students whose first language is not English must submit proof of English language proficiency.

  • IELTS – 6.0, with no individual score lower than 5.5 
  • TOEFL (IBT) – 80, with no individual score lower than 18 
  • Duolinguo – minimum score of 90 with no subject test score less than 90 
  • Cambridge English – minimum score of 169 
  • CAEL – minimum score of 60 
  • Pearson Test of English – minimum score of 55 
  • MELAB – minimum score of 80 

Please see the international application process here.

Admissions Requirements – French School System

  • Diplôme grade 12, diplôme adulte ou GED
  • Rencontre avec un Admission Advisor
  • 9 crédits universitaire ; 3-crédit de Biologie, 3-crédit Anglais ou langue approuvé et 3-crédit au choix. Chaque cours avec minimum de ‘’C’’ ou 65%.
  • Test Pré-Admission
  • Entrevue de Faculté
  • Des quotas géographiques peuvent être considérés

Preclinical Theory and Practice

This course introduces students to the information necessary to maintain an appropriate environment for delivery of dental hygiene care. Fundamentals of safe dental hygiene practice and instrumentation skills are discussed. The laboratory portion begins students’ development of the skills defined within the dental hygiene scope of practice. Skills are practiced first on manikins and later on classmates in treatment simulation sessions.

Oral Anatomy and Assessment Procedures

This theory course covers the recognition of the basic structures and tissues of the oral cavity in health. Emphasis is placed on procedures required to do oral assessments of clients and record findings using accepted clinical symbols according to professional practice standards.

Dental Health Promotion I and II

This theory course teaches communication techniques to facilitate management of clients in the clinical setting and to foster clients’ learning of self-care practices related to general and oral health. The role of nutrition in maintenance of optimal health is discussed. As students’ progress to the next levels of health promotion, they will discuss the physical, intellectual, and socio-economic factors which influence clients’ decisions and actions in maintaining their oral health and accessing oral health care. Emphasis is placed on individualizing oral self-care messages for clients across the lifespan. Nutrition and how it relates to total client care is the focus in HYG-402

Radiography I and II

The theory portion of this course introduces students to the history, development, and use of radiation in the diagnosis of dental disease. The principles of proper exposure, processing, handling, and storage of dental diagnostic radiographs are covered. Radiation hygiene required to protect client and operator from hazardous exposure levels is emphasized. The laboratory portion of the course allows students to refine exposure techniques for standard intraoral views using manikins. Bisecting angle, paralleling and occlusal plane techniques are studied. Clinical simulations with classmates and exposures for clients are also part of the laboratory requirements.

Human Anatomy and Physiology

This theory and laboratory course discusses the human anatomy and physiology pertinent to the dental hygienists’ role in overall health assessment of clients prior to developing evidence-based strategies for their initial and on-going oral care.

Head and Neck Anatomy

This theory and laboratory course discusses the human anatomy and physiology of the head and neck pertinent to the dental hygienists’ role in the overall health assessment prior to developing evidence-based strategies for their initial and ongoing oral care.

Clinical Practice

During this series of clinical courses, students will provide education and clinical treatment interventions to clients who require simple to complex protocols for maintenance of oral health.

Theory of Dental Hygiene Practice

This theory course supports clinical practice by discussing the elements of the dental hygiene process of care and how to apply it in the assessment, planning and delivery of oral care services to clients. Portions of class time are used to discuss issues related to clinical procedures, progress and performance expectations as students gain greater expertise in clinical skills.

Health Status Assessment

This course introduces the principles of pharmacology and discusses the basic drug groups and their uses. The relationship of drug therapies for systemic illness to the implications for planning and delivery of oral care for clients is emphasized.

Oral Histology and Pathology

This theory course introduces students to the study of oral tissues in health and disease at the cellular level. Emphasis is on the process of disease and the body’s natural defense mechanisms to counter damage.


This course examines, in detail, the structures and tissues of the periodontium in health and progressing to states of disease. The factors that initiate and sustain periodontal disease are studied and interventions designed to maintain periodontal health are emphasized. The role of the dental hygienist as a primary health care provider in implementing evidence-based therapies to halt the disease process and assist in regaining and maintaining periodontal health is emphasized. During this course students will explore advanced techniques for treatment of periodontal disease and surgical correction of defects resulting from disease. Emphasis is placed on the collaborative role of the dental hygienist.

Dental Materials and Laboratory Procedures

The theory portion of this course introduces students to the characteristics of dental materials. The properties, proper manipulation and storage of common materials used in dentistry are studied. The laboratory sessions allow students to manipulate materials and create products related to dental diagnosis and treatment.


This course emphasizes the importance of imparting or recording information in a clear, accurate and concise manner both orally and in writing. The principles of doing academic research to prepare an oral report or to write a paper are studied and implemented. This course stresses professionally oriented oral and written skills (memoranda, business letters, analytical reports etc.). The student will develop the skill to access relevant and credible resources to research a topic of interest to the field of dental hygiene.

Dental Hygiene Practice Standards

This course introduces students to the ethical and legal responsibilities of dental hygiene practice. Discussion centers around the use of pertinent New Brunswick provincial health regulation legislation, Professional Practice Standards, and the Dental Hygiene Code of Ethics as quality control mechanisms to protect the public from receiving substandard care are covered. Remedies available to clients harmed by practitioners are studied. The principles and procedures of employment search will be addressed. Students will learn how to write an effective resume. Strategies for making follow-up contacts with prospective employers and preparing for a job interview will be emphasized.

Clinic Feedback

During this weekly session students are encouraged to bring topics for discussion from activities and situations which arise during clinical practice. This course provides a regular forum for transfer of pertinent information among students and faculty regarding clinical practice.

Community Health

This course introduces the concept of health as applied to groups or populations. The application of the dental hygiene process of care to assess group needs and plan appropriate educational/treatment strategies is discussed. This course introduces students to the fundamentals of statistics as used to assess needs in groups or populations and their use in program planning.

Social Science

This course explores human psychological and social development over the life span. Emphasis is placed on the influence of perception, knowledge, needs and motivation on behavior. Students study the mechanisms of behavior in the dental environment and how client behavior can be modified towards habits that foster improved oral health.

Oral Pathology

This course concentrates on the oral manifestations of systemic disease and the implications for dental hygiene interventions. Specialized radiographic and laboratory techniques used in diagnosis of oral diseases are discussed. Recognition of the indications of common diseases from diagnostic images is stressed.

Periodontics II

This course is a continuation of Periodontics I (HYG 207). Students learn detailed characteristics of the structures and tissues of the periodontium as periodontal disease continues to create more advanced tissue destruction. Examination of surgical and non-surgical phases of periodontal therapy and post-operative periodontal health maintenance are emphasized. Treatment modalities are investigated using systematic reviews and position papers from the American Academy of Periodontology. The implications and dental hygiene care of dental implants are examined.

Clinical Seminars

The implications of medically compromised clients will be examined in relationship to oral manifestations, prevention of problems, and treatment modifications. Discussion of client case studies will expand the students’ understanding of the dental hygiene process of care and provide students with comprehensive information on the clinical management of clients, especially those with special needs, in the planning and delivery of oral care.

Biostatics and Epidemiology

Students learn basic biostatistics and how they are used to make decisions regarding delivery of publicly funded dental services to the community. The use of experimental and non-experimental research designs and statistical analyses in determining community needs, designing programs and evaluating the success of intervention strategies is addressed. Students also learn to read, understand and assess the quality of published research and the importance of this in life-long learning as a practicing professional.

Communications II

Students learn how communication with peers and health care professionals differs from that with other groups. This course concentrates on completion of secondary research techniques: written and oral presentation of findings designed for peer/professional audiences.

Community Health Placements

Field placement activities are designed to familiarize students with the realities of dental hygiene practice in specialty settings. Students will prepare for and complete assignments in designated specialties.

Orthodontics Theory and Laboratory

The theory portion of this course discusses the principles of assessment data collection for orthodontic diagnosis and treatment planning. Commonly used appliance systems are examined and basics of orthodontic biomechanics and tissue responses to tooth movement are studied. During the laboratory component students practice orthodontic skills on manikins and partners (limited) in simulated clinical exercises.

Cost Breakdown

Please refer to your contract for the detailed cost/ tuition breakdown. Costs vary by year, so please ensure you are referring to the correct dates.

Career Choices:

Dental Hygienists are an essential part of the dental team: they work with the Dentist to ensure good dental health care for patients. Exceptional Dental Hygienist do not just help your oral health while you’re in their chair; they give you good habits to bring with you everywhere else. These are the types of Hygienists we produce at Oulton College.

Our training gives you practiced skills and the ability to build strong patient relationships right away. You will be able to quickly step in and work in any clinical setting.

  • Dental Clinics
  • Community Health Organizations
  • Long-term Care Facilities